This is sooo exciting! Sharron Angle, Tea Party-Republican candidate for Nevada’s Senate seat, has sent me my very own letter. Ms. Angle is running against Harry Reid (NV-D), now holding that seat, and currently Majority Leader in the US Senate. The light cream-colored envelope has “SHARRON ANGLE” in large blue, all-caps in the upper left corner, and below it in small caps “Official Republican Nominee to Defeat Senator Harry Reid.” Below that, all across the envelope from one side to another in black type:
“Are you sick and tired of Harry Reid spending this country into bankruptcy, growing big government, and limiting your freedoms?” Another line below that: “I hope your answer is ‘YES!’ because I need your help to end Harry Reid’s career.”
Then my name and address. Let’s open the envelope:
The blue letterhead reproduces the envelope: “SHARRON ANGLE – Official Republican Nominee to Defeat Senator Harry Reid” and then comes the Salutation “Dear Friend” (I guess their mail merge doesn’t pick out and repeat the name on the envelope in the salutation; already I’m a mite put off, but it’s still good to be a ” dear friend”). First sentence: “I need to ask you one very important question…” followed by an indented paragraph in bold-face, the entire paragraph circled in dark ink:
“Are you sick and tired of Harry Reid spending this country into bankruptcy, growing big government, and limiting your freedoms?”
She immediately jumps to the “ask” in short, clipped sentences, each in its own paragraph:
“I’m asking you, and every conservative to support my campaign by signing your FIRE REID pledge right away.
To win I need a million man strong grassroots army backing me up —- and I’m personally asking you to be a key part of it.
Then I need you to rush your most generous donation of $35, $50, $100 or even $1,000 back to my campaign today.”
Then we go to three and a half pages of arguments designed to convince me Reid is responsible for hell on earth, and Angle is an avenging angel. I learned that Reid’s “fingerprints are all over Washington’s plans to expand government and shrink our freedoms” because he has fought to”
“SOCIALIZE health care by ramming through ObamaCare…. and lead to rationing of medical services.” (I am naturally frightened by anyone rationing how much doctoring I can have, but I wonder, what happened to those death panels?)
“FORCE a ‘cap and trade’ tax on energy that will raise the average family’s energy bill by a whopping $258 a month.” (Yegods! Where did this scarey figure come from? It must be true, I heard it on Fox!)
“DOUBLE the National Debt to $19 TRILLION DOLLARS —- that’s $61,290 for every man, woman, and child in America.” (Should I put it on my credit card right now?)
“BAIL OUT the Big Banks and give the bill to the hardworking American taxpayer. (That Bastard!…. but wait, that happened under George W. Bush, didn’t it, or am I confused?)
Now that the letter reader has been bludgeoned by key words, one below the other, each pointed to by its own arrow: SOCIALIZE, FORCE, DOUBLE, BAILOUT. The author of this missive (which I seriously doubt was the otherwise estimable but verbally challenged Ms. Angle) then pins these dreadful sins on none other than Harry Reid, who must be stopped, will be stopped by said Ms. Angle, “Republican Party’s official nominee…. before he strikes again!” (I am curious by the repeated assurances Ms. Angle is the official Republican nominee. Are there unauthorized, wild Republican nominees roaming the deserts of Nevada?)
It turns out that Mr. Reid, who is portrayed more and more as engaged in “backroom dealing and corruption,” can only be defeated if Ms. Angle has “the support of thousands conservatives”(sic)and we suddenly find an escalation clause built into the ask:
“….I must have your maximum urgent donation of $35, $50, $75, $100, $250, $500, $1,000, or even $2,400 immediately.”
(Goodness gracious, I have vertigo at this rapid escalation to the maximum federal donation! Ms. Angle clearly has no idea of my humble circumstances.)
Well, maybe I should re-consider: Mr. Reid is fighting dirty, it seems, because, writes Ms. Angle (or her ghostwriter) clever Mr. Reid:
“++…. copied my website… and put up an identical website… We had to send Reid a ‘Cease and Desist’ letter to get him to stop. (This is an old Republican scam Reid has picked up, turnabout is fair play, ain’t it?)
++ A FAKE Tea Party group knockoff called ‘Patriot Majority’ is putting out ‘hit piece’ ads attacking me—- and Reid’s former spokesman is behind the group! (And here I thought anything Tea Party was fake!)
++ Bill Clinton has come to Nevada to be Reid’s ‘junkyard dog.’ (If anybody could be a junkyard dog it would be ol’ Bill, dontcha think?)
++ And Barack Obama has twice hosted fundraisers for Reid netting more than $3 million total. (She can’t be serious here because she left out Mr. Obama’s middle name. Besides, isn’t $3 million a mere bagatelle to richbitch Republicans? Like petty cash?)
After all this I am just at the top of page three. Slogging onward, I learn that sweet Ms. Angle is “the mother of two and a grandmother of ten,” (Holy mackeral! Ten? Those two were sure prolific!) she is not “your typical giant slayer,” nor one of those career politicians like dear Harry. No, she is “just a citizen like you” (I am ordinary? Well! One minute I am supposed to send $2,400 and am special, and now I am ordinary? Heh.) Harry, however, is an “out-of-touch liberal,” and a “tax-and-spend liberal” because he (and each revelation is preceded by a big checkmark):
“*** Reid is leading the charge to hike income, business, capital gains, and death taxes by repealing the Bush Tax Cuts. (I thought we were supposed to pay down the deficit? Am I wrong? How else would we do it?)
*** He’s voted to slash Medicare Advantage….
*** He’s earned an ‘F’ from Gun Owners of America (This is all underlined; must be important)
*** He’s voted against the Border Fence
*** He’s voted for Amnesty for illegal aliens.“
Clearly, Harry Reid is the devil incarnate, he must be stopped, and Sharron Angle is clearly The One to do it—- that is the obvious conclusion after reading all this horror story. Dear Ms. Angle needs help, she needs, to be exact, the letter reader’s “FIRE REID pledge” and an “even more important donation of $35, $50, $1,000 or more.”
Having asked me for my monetary donation three times so far, the Official Republican Nominee now confesses “My friend (I’m back to being a friend, not an ordinary citizen), I would not be writing you this letter unless I honestly knew I could win this race…But I simply cannot do this without your immediate help of at least $35 today. (Back to average citizen and the itsy bitsy $35 donation, I see. That’s four times). Then I learn —– not being a Nevadan, this is all news to me—- that frightful Harry Reid is “even more toxic here in Nevada” than he is in the rest of the United States (Whew! At least she isn’t suggesting Nevada secede, like Texas’ Governor). Of course, frightful Harry did vote for the *787 billion ‘Stimulus’ that’s led to nearly 10 percent unemployment nationwide” – and (all underlined) “has given Nevada the highest bankruptcy, foreclosure, and unemployment rates.” (Now I am really confused: how did the stimulus reach back in time and set up the economic collapse which occurred under Bush, and wasn’t the stimulus first proposed under Bush? How could the stimulus have caused the foreclosures which were based on the subprime loan fiasco engineered by Wall Street under Bush era de-regulation…. Oh, well, re-writing history is not my strong point, as it evidently is of Ms. Angle. Must use grain of salt here).
On to the s-t-r-o-n-g finish. Once more the letter reader is urged to “Sign your FIRE REID pledge and rush it back with your $35, $50, $75, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or even $2,400 gift. I need your donation above all to fund my campaign.” (That’s five times. She must really need the dough). “We can’t afford another six years of Reid.”
(Signed, in big, bold blue script) “Sharron” with the notation below: “Sharron Angle, Official Republican Nominee to Defeat Senator Harry Reid”
Of course, there is an underlined P.S. reminding the letter reader, that: ” Harry Reid spent the last four years…. pushing the country toward bankruptcy and destroying our economy” (And here I remember that it was G.W. Bush who did that). So here comes the obligatory ask number six, a final flourish for all us average citizen slow learners out there:
“Patriotic Americans have had enough!
Join my campaign by signing your FIRE REID pledge and rushing my campaign a donation for $35, $50, $75, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or even $2,400 today. Thank you!” (That’s six times)
The little additional paper enclosed in the letter, which is the FIRE REID pledge, adds a subtle reminder: “$4,800 is the most a couple can give for the general election.” (Hint, hint. That’s seven times they’ve milked the cash cow)
While this is, I suppose, not much different from many other fund raising letters—- there is obviously a formula to these things, they must be cranked out by the thousands in some hidden sweatshop somewhere, perhaps in India)—- it does give us a rather stultifying glimpse of Republican campaign themes, their current code words and dog whistles, and an idea of how the professionals have moved in on Tea Baggers who suddenly turned into “official Republican nominees” in order to sanitize them a little bit and cram them into Republican norms. I am not a Nevadan, I live several thousand miles from Nevada, and have not been a Republican since 2004. Yet I am being importuned for money. I call that a full court press.